Aaron Bernstine, a local to the community and a candidate running for State Representative, was one of many visitors who spoke at the council meeting last night.
He was there to express his concerns about the electric contract the Borough is tied into.
He introduced himself and gave council his condolences- he said he understands the difficult decisions they sometimes face and that the electric contract being used as a taxation tool for the Borough was in place long before the current council members were voted in, but he further mentioned that he did not believe council is currently making decisions, regarding the electric contract, in the best interest of many Ellwood residents.
“Government, or Ellwood City, in general, show disregard to financial sanity. Government is for protecting people, not ruining lives” he said.
As an example of how using a utility service as a taxation tool may be ruining lives, he told a story about a couple he met while campaigning, “they’re a young couple- they do everything right; he works, she works, they bought a house, and they have a child. Due to the recent electric increases, the husband is now forced to work extra shifts just to afford the same things they had before and it’s putting a lot of extra stress on the family. I know it doesn’t seem like it will make a big impact, but when you start tacking on extra taxes and fees everywhere, people can no longer afford to live. Financial issues are the number one cause of divorce and you have the opportunity to fix the problem.”
He furthered on saying, “I don’t know the technicalities of the electric contract the Borough is tied to, but he (Ed Leymarie the Borough solicitor) does. You need to have him review these contracts and find a way out of them for the sake of the community.”
Bernstine promises to end public services, like electric, being used as a tax collector for communities all across Pennsylvania if he is elected for State Representative.